Market Report / TASE Impervious as Global Markets Slide

The Tel Aviv Stock exchange continues to show strength and prove its disassociation from crashing global markets. The Maof-25 blue chip index closed yesterday up 0.95 percent to 384 points and the TA-100 ended 0.8 percent higher. Turnover was average at NIS 282 million.

European markets wore gloomy faces today in light of the Wall Street markets' weekend plummet. London lost just 2 percent, while Frankfurt shed 3.5 percent and Paris a hefty 3.8 percent. Nasdaq futures were also glum, but TASE stayed in green territory all day. TASE slipped just slightly Sunday, closing down 1.5 percent.

Market players hint that the low market liquidity in Tel Aviv allows institutional investors to buoy the market to prevent a drop in future yields. Others note TASE's disassociation from global markets as technical and temporary, and primarily, unsustainable in the face of sliding markets in Asia, Europe and New York.

Nonetheless, since the public virtually doesn't play directly in the market at all, it doesn't respond immediately to events. Large Maof players preparing for the July options expiry also boost blue chips. The major institutional players, provident funds and insurance companies don't have to sell shares as they have no liquidity problems. Some funds are even buying on the market floor as they feel many companies are valued at buy opportunity prices.

The shekel continued to gain strength yesterday as the shekel/dollar representative exchange rate was up 0.66 percent to NIS 4.637.

In an unusual situation considering the action on the currency market, bonds slipped 0.5 percent yesterday on dollar options that reflected a stronger shekel.

Bezeq leapt 2.9 percent yesterday on NIS 21 million turnover. Clal Industries and Makhteshim Agan climbed more than 2.5 percent. As is almost the norm, Teva Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: TEVA) posted the session's highest volume of NIS 38 million as it slipped 0.7 percent.

Israel Discount Bank stood out for its 2.6 percent showing in the red on NIS 4 million on bad press for its safety deposit box robbery. In addition, investors may be profit-taking on the bank after its two-week gain of 25 percent on the possible sale of its New York subsidiary to Bank Hapoalim.

The other major banks did well, as Hapoalim added on 0.6 percent in value and Leumi climbed 2.3 percent.

The IDB Group did well on the day as IDB Holdings gained 0.42 percent and IDB Development climbed by just over 1 percent. Discount Investment ended 1.8 percent up, and Clal Industries saw a whopping 2.75 percent gain. Nochi Dankner's Ganden takeover of the group looks closer by the day.